->''In an even more professorial voice, already deep and roaring enough, Terl repeated his thought. "Man is an endangered species."''
->''Char glowered at him. "What in the name of diseased crap are ''you'' reading?"''
-->-- ''Battlefield Earth'', Part 1, Chapter 1

''Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000'' is a 1982 science fiction novel written by Creator/LRonHubbard about Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, one of the last humans left on Earth after an AlienInvasion by the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive sadistic, corporate]] Psychlos. After growing frustrated with life in his miserable mountain village, Jonnie strikes on his own only to be captured by Terl, a "[[VillainBall clever, not intelligent]]" Psychlo with a scheme to get rich by having human slaves mine gold for him. Jonnie is taught the Psychlos' language and masters the aliens' technology, but when the time comes to capture more workers he convinces them to help overthrow the aliens and liberate the planet. With the aid of this band of [[ViolentGlaswegian warrior Scots]], Jonnie leads a daring attack that simultaneously strikes at the Psychlo homeworld even as it crushes the alien occupiers.

That's the first third or so of the book. After that Jonnie has to deal with Psychlo [=POWs=], a bitter political rival allied with Terl and a [[ThoseWackyNazis neo-neo-Nazi]], other extraterrestrial forces eager to swoop in on a vulnerable Earth, and alien debt collectors trying to repossess the planet, all while cracking the secrets of Psychlo mathematics.

''Battlefield Earth'' made it to the top of numerous bestseller lists[[note]]Scientologists bought it in bulk in an effort to boost sales of ''Dianetics''[[/note]], but critical response was less than enthusiastic, citing the novel's [[{{Doorstopper}} length]], [[ArcFatigue plotting]], and [[FlatCharacter characters]]. Nevertheless, the idea of [[TheFilmOfTheBook making a movie]] persisted until finally being realized in the year 2000, starring JohnTravolta (who personally bankrolled the project), Creator/ForestWhitaker, and Barry Pepper. It was a pretty spectacular bomb, but you can read about its tropes [[Film/BattlefieldEarth here]] if you're after some SnarkBait.

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!!The novel contains examples of:
* AfterTheEnd: Mankind's cities are in ruins, and there are only scattered bands of humanity left.
* AlienArtsAreAppreciated: The Psychlos create no art nor do they have a sense of aesthetics, but they ''do'' appreciate others' art in the most commercial sense - they kept the Chinkos around partially to sell off their paintings. Played straight later when other alien diplomats pay good spacebucks for a Chinese family's paintings and knickknacks.
* AlienInvasion: Once by the Psychlos in the backstory, while over the course of the book the heroes have to deal with a host of ''other'' alien races having a go at Earth.
* AlternativeNumberSystem: The Psychlos use a base-11 system.
* AlternateUniverse: Psychlo is in another universe where natural laws are slightly different from ours. That alone meant the book made a little more sense than the film.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: We're supposed to view the Psychlo race as such, but keep reading...
* AuthorAppeal: You get the sense this was L. Ron's attempt to write an ''AnimalFarm'' exposing the imminent dangers of psychiatry.
* AuthorAvatar: The earliest covers portrayed [[MartyStu Jonny Goodboy Tyler]] as having a close physical resemblance to none other than L. Ron Hubbard himself. Later editions have Jonnie more closely resembling Barry Bostwick in the film ''Megaforce'', with just a hint of ChuckNorris.
* AuthorTract:The evil "Psychlos" controlled by a "medical scientist cult" called the "catrists" are straightforward enough, but they even had a human doctor condescend about human psychiatry, which he described as some sort of cult that had existed in Earth before the coming of the Psychlos.
* BerserkButton: Ask a Psychlo about learning their mathematics and the males are conditioned to go into a homicidal rage before killing themselves, while females just slip into a coma.
* BetaCouple: Pattie and Bittie [=MacLeod=], also PuppyLove.
* BizarreAlienBiology: The Psychlo are famous for the "breathe-gas" they respire and its explosive reaction to radiation, but that's only the start. They don't have lips or eyelids, but "mouthbones" and "eyebones." The top half of their skull is mostly bone, leaving their brains squished down against their spinal column, and their hearts aren't behind their ribcage, but down towards their belt buckles. Also, [[YouFailBiologyForever they are composed of viruses]].
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: Terl spends at least two whole sections of the book coming up with "leverage" over his coworkers.
* BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins: The everyday clothing of Jonnie and his tribe.
* CardCarryingVillain: Terl at one point thanks "the evil gods," the sole mention of Psychlo theology.
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: Little Bittie gets Little Pattie a locket with "To my future wife" inscribed on it.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Terl in particular and the Psychlos in general, to the point that you may wonder how their society functions at all.
* CityInABottle: Jonnie's miserable home village, holed up in an irradiated mountain valley that keeps them safe from alien attack while slowly killing them.
* ConceptAlbum: L. Ron Hubbard composed a companion music album called ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Jazz Space Jazz: The Soundtrack of the Book "Battlefield Earth"]]'' in 1982, billed as "[[OverlyNarrowSuperlative the only original sound track ever produced for a book before it becomes a movie.]]"
* CoolHorse: Windsplitter, Jonnie's faithful steed. He even gets a Psychlo kill or two!
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: A trait of Terl and other Psychlo business executives, but averted with the Selachee bankers, whose [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is banking with absolute honesty. It is {{nothing personal}}, "banking is banking. And business is business."
* CurbStompBattle: In the backstory, the most resistance the humans put up during the Psychlo invasion was a bunch of Air Force cadets who held out for three hours.
* CustomUniform: For his meeting with representatives from other planets, Jonnie's Chinese chamberlain whips up a black and silver outfit complete with a shiny dragon helmet, which combined with his new [[ExpositoryHairstyleChange Sir Francis Drake haircut]] and some cheesy theatrics manages to awe the alien diplomats into taking him seriously.
* DeflectorShields: The Psychlos use something they call "atmosphere armor," [[InsistentTerminology which is]] ''[[InsistentTerminology not]]'' [[InsistentTerminology a force field]], but something that aligns the atoms in the air into an impenetrable barrier. Unfortunately for them, they do not use these things enough.
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells: The humans lace their ammunition with radioactive material, since the "breathe-gas" Psychlos use for air ''explodes'' if it encounters so much as a "single isotope" of uranium.
* DepopulationBomb: In the backstory, a single Psychlo gas drone was able to wipe out most of humanity. Terl's back-up plan involves getting the same gas drone to finish the job.
* DeusExNukina: When your enemy has a ridiculous vulnerability to radiation, what else are you gonna try to sneak onto their home planet?
* {{Doorstopper}}: The hardcover edition clocks in at a whopping 1,083 pages, making just finishing the book a feat in itself.
* TheDungAges: Jonnie's tribe in particular has forgotten how to work metal. The Scots at least know how to make swords, and make allusions to some sort of "underground" university.
* EarthIsABattlefield: You'd ''think'' so, given the title, but no. The great uprising against the Psychlos consists of a one-sided ground assault against the main mining base and fifteen planes splitting up to strafe the other fifteen bases. When other aliens invade later, fighting is centered around bases in Africa, Russia and Scotland, and is primarily an air war.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: Humanity wins the war by [[spoiler:teleporting nuclear "planet buster" bombs to the Psychlo homeworld. [[{{Handwave}} Since the greedy Psychlo have mined their home planet to the extent that its riddled with abandoned shafts and tunnels]], this results in a chain reaction that turns the planet into an immense fireball. Jonnie wonders if he's turned the planet into a new star.]]
* ExplosiveLeash: Not on Jonnie or the other workers, but for the hostages, Chrissie and Pattie.
* FinalSpeech: [[spoiler:Bittie is able to linger on despite being almost bisected by machinegun fire, while Jonnie spends time cutting down Brigantes by the score, just so he can give his hero some anguished last words]].
* GovernmentDrugEnforcement: [[spoiler:The catrists implant all Psychlo pups with a device that either drives them to suicide or puts them in a coma if they try to reveal technological secrets. As a side effect it warps their brains to [[EvilTastesGood stimulate pleasure centers when they do evil deeds]], but the catrists are fine with that]].
* FalseReassurance: Terl ''tries'', bless him, but pulling this off right requires subtlety and charisma, while Terl may as well have told his would-be victims "the present I just gave you is a bomb."
* TheGreys: The Selachees are a sharky version.
* HappilyEverAfter: Complete with ''castle.'' [[spoiler: At least, for a while.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Ker as well as other Psychlos, once Jonnie figures out how to extract the mind-control devices]].
* HeroicSacrifice: One of the Scottish pilots makes a kamikaze run on an alien carrier, but in a subversion, actually causes as much trouble as he ends after the doomed ship crashes near the humans' base and threatens its generators.
* HeroicWillpower: Jonnie attributes his recovery from brain damage to this.
* HideYourChildren: We never see Psychlo "pups," since Psychlos sent offworld to work are sterilized first. [[spoiler: [[InferredHolocaust And of course because Jonnie killed the rest of them when he blew up planet Psychlo]].]]
* HumansAreMorons: Most Psychlo workers aren't convinced the near-extinct humans are even sentient, and Terl's constant underestimation of his captives' capabilities has disastrous consequences for his race.
* HumansAreSpecial: In sixteen universes and hundreds of thousands of years of history, no other race managed to defeat the Psychlos and crack their technology, then go on to usurp them as [[HumanityIsSuperior rulers of the universes]]. All in two years or so, no less.
* ImAHumanitarian: The Brigantes, [[CannibalClan a mongrel tribe]] of former mercenaries sent to Africa JustBeforeTheEnd, have an innovative approach to food shortages, paychecks, and burials.
* InvincibleHero: Ah, Jonnie. Best pilot on the planet. Strong enough to bludgeon a bear to death with a gun and toss Psychlos around three at a time. Tactical and technical genius. Any setbacks he encounters are due to conditions beyond his control, and only temporary.
* InWorkingOrder: Averted, as it takes Jonnie and his followers months of training before they can use Psychlo equipment effectively.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Credit where it is due, Terl waits until an enemy is in his coffin to gloat and make self-incriminating statements for Jonnie to record.
* KidSidekick: Bittie [=MacLeod=] desperately wants to be Jonnie's squire, while Chrissie's little sister Pattie (eight years old) tags along when Chrissie ventures into the wilderness in search of Jonnie.
* LowCultureHighTech: The Psychlo's and the humans.
* MadeOfExplodium: The "breathe-gas" Psychlos respire has an ''extreme'' reaction to even minute amounts of radiation.
* MassTeleportation: In the wake of the [[DepopulationBomb gas drone attack]], the Psychlos teleported tanks and infantry to mop up the survivors.
* MeaningfulFuneral: At the start of the book, the lack of one for Jonnie's father is what tips us off that his fellow villagers are hopelessly passive, while Jonnie's efforts to get one show how he is a man of action. Also unfortunately an EstablishingCharacterMoment where we see him coldly bully his family and neighbors into doing what he wants.
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler:In all fairness, Jonnie wasn't ''trying'' to destroy every planet in the Psychlo Empire with a nuclear chain reaction. He just wanted to nuke the hell out of the teleporter site on Psychlo and got more boom than was expected]].
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Soft. We know that Psychlo teleportation works by swapping two patches of space, but not how a control console manages to bring this about.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Ker, the non-evil Psychlo. [[spoiler:Turns out he was rescued after being left to die as a pup, and thus never got those catrist implants]].
* NationalStereotypes: The Scots are all claymore-wielding kilt-wearing [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Bravehearts]], Russians [[VodkaDrunkenski drink vodka]] and still hang onto [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp old Soviet traditions]], Swiss-Germans are all master craftsmen or ''bankers'' (in a post-apocalyptic world where most tribes have not yet rediscovered metal!), the Frenchman [[CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys faints at the sight of even a dead Psychlo]], the Chinese family are experts on protocol and courtly manners [[HappinessInSlavery who have been waiting for a new emperor to serve for a thousand years]], and [[UnfortunateImplications the mongrel tribe from Africa is a bunch of primitive cannibals]].
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler:Terl dies off-screen in a teleporter accident, when he attempts to teleport into what is now a sun, [[JustifiedTrope so there really shouldn't be any body]]. Thankfully, he ''doesn't'' make a miraculous reappearance and stays [[DeaderThanDead good and dead]] for the rest of the book.]]
* NotAlwaysEvil: [[spoiler:Turns out if you remove a Psychlos' {{mind control}} implants, they can be pretty amiable. Unfortunately, Jonnie only figures out how to do this ''after'' exterminating the majority of the race and dooming the sterilized survivors to extinction]].
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The Psychlos are constantly screwing each other over with obscure rules, and after some blunders by Terl the company's home office just ignores any further missives from him.
* OneManArmy:
** Jonnie cuts down about two dozen Brigantes in a single ambush, receiving only superficial wounds in return, and ''they'' were ambushing ''him''.
** Because teleportation aircraft are superior to reaction aircraft, able to instantly accelerate to their desired speed and alter heading, even mediocre pilots can shoot down dozens of enemy planes. All the human pilots rack up kill counts well beyond their own numbers.
* PeaceThroughSuperiorFirepower: [[spoiler:Jonnie combines the knowledge of the Psychlos' "ultimate bomb" and teleportation to threaten any alien aggressors with annihilation. After a few token complaints, they decide they are fine with this]].
* PistolWhipping: Jonnie clubs an attacking bear to death with Terl's blaster, and at no point attempts to fire the thing. [[JustifiedTrope Justifiable]], as he grew up as an illiterate hunter whose weapon-of-choice (even LONG after he's introduced to guns and alien tech) were his [[CarryABigStick "kill-clubs"]]. He's spent his whole life bashing things, not shooting them, so it's naturally his first instinct.
* PlanetLooters: The Psychlos actually searched Earth's ruins on foot, prying out every last gold filling from the corpses littering the ground.
* PlanetOfHats: The Psychlos have a racial mining fetish, to the point that their number system has a mining motif, their mass transit is set up like minecarts, and their entire existence is based around selling resources to fund the next invasion to capture more resources. The Selachee have a banking empire spread across the universes, the Tolneps are rapacious slavers, and the dearly departed Chinko were professional simpering slaves.
* PosthumousCharacter: We only learn about the sinister catrists at the very end of the story, long, ''long'' after Jonnie's unknowingly killed them.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: The Brigantes' ancestors were a multinational paramilitary force sent to Africa {{just before the end}} to overthrow some post-colonial governments on behalf of international banking interests. They were overlooked during the apocalypse, interbred with the locals, and over a thousand years regressed to a bunch of cannibals still waiting for someone to give them a paycheck.
* PsychicPowers: Terl believes Jonnie and "his mate" share a psychic bond, when in reality Jonnie just has some men checking on Chrissie's condition.
* PunchClockVillain: Though the Psychlos are an evil race (thanks to the Catrists) all the ones on Earth (except for Terl) are just blue-collar miners working a dig site. They have no interest in humanity or ruling/oppressing the planet.
* RagnarokProofing: [[JustifiedTrope A library Jonnie visits was preserved by Chinko sociologists for study, and the Tommy guns he outfits his men with had been sealed in grease and buried for a millennium]]. [[PlayedStraight Yet the humans find books and scraps of paper in other places, are able to renovate ruins that should have crumbled away centuries ago, and spruce up tactical nukes from an old bunker without too much trouble.]]
* RidingIntoTheSunset: [[spoiler:In the end, after overthrowing the Psychlos, being hailed as the hero of multiple universes, and becoming obscenely rich, Jonnie escapes into the frontier with his family in search of a simpler life]].
* RivalTurnedEvil: Brown Limper Staffor, Jonnie's bitterly jealous neighbor, tries to usurp Earth's new government, and keeps trying to kill Jonnie over imagined slights. For his part, [[UnknownRival Jonnie puts Brown Limper pretty low on his list of priorities]].
* RubberForeheadAliens: Many aliens described are humanoid, with a few animal-like characteristics or missing/rearranged facial features.
* SpaceJews: Besides the Selachee, a race of shark-descended bankers who try to repossess the planet, we are also introduced to the Chinkos, a race of effeminate, intelligent, subservient aliens enslaved, and subsequently exterminated by the Psychlos.
* StealthPun: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selachimorpha Selachee]], the race of gray-skinned {{extreme omnivore}}s, are the universe's premier bankers. They are literally loan sharks.
* SubspaceAnsible: Averted, with disastrous consequences for the Psychlo Empire. Communications and cargo can only be exchanged with a teleporter, and the rules of teleportation means that each Psychlo base only has a few scheduled hours each year to make contact with the capital. [[spoiler:So when Jonnie blows up the Psychlo homeworld, ''every other Psychlo planet'', one after another, tries to open a teleporter link into what is effectively a sun]].
* ThoseWackyNazis: Turns out in a thousand years, the only person on the planet who remembers Hitler thinks he was a military genius and God's chosen instrument to usher in an era of peace and righteousness.
* TooDumbToLive: The Chinkos. Yeah, if you're enslaved by an empire that regularly wipes out planetary populations in the name of loot, trying to go ''on strike'' is a bad idea.
* TranslationConvention: A footnote mentions that all units of measurement have been converted into Earth standards.
* UnusualEuphemism: The Psychlos use "crunch" or "crunching" as an expletive.
* UpgradeArtifact: The Psychlos have technology that beams pure knowledge into your brain via your skin, allowing Jonnie to become an InstantExpert.
* VillainBall: As early as the first chapter it is made clear that Terl is ambitious, scheming, and well-educated, but still a dumbass, which other characters ''point out to him''.
* VillainTeamUp: Brown Limper allies himself with Terl, a Swedish neo-neo-Nazi, and the Brigantes in order to get some payback against Jonnie.
* VillainousBreakdown: Not to imply that Terl had much to fall from, but he begins to lose his sanity from paranoia when he becomes convinced that a government agent has infiltrated the workforce while investigating him. [[ShaggyDogStory Turns out the guy was on the run and had no idea what was going on]].
* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: The Psychlo have drone mining devices to operate in extreme conditions, but are apparently too cheap to use them on a planet with irradiated areas, [[{{Handwave}} thus allowing the plot to happen]].
* WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture: Gems such as "man-animal," "kill-club," "breathe-gas," "picto-camera," "compo-gradients," "crap-lousy" and "rat-brain" will hurt the same the first and five hundredth time you read them.
* WorthlessYellowRocks: Averted. Gold is highly-valued in all sixteen known universes, so once the Psychlos nabbed the Voyager probe and noticed that the coordinates to Earth were on a gold-plated disc, the promise of shiny yellow rocks was worth funding a planetary invasion.
* YouHaveWaitedLongEnough: The threat of this happening helps spur Chrissie into setting out in search of Jonnie even before the year of waiting is up.
* YouNoTakeCandle: The Brigantes' accent.

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-->'''Rifftrax''': ''"Man is an endangered species?" The popularity of this novel indicates that this could well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.''